CORE joins effort to bolster behavioral health services in Southern Oregon

December 9, 2021

A Housman Foundation grant will enable Providence CORE to conduct research and provide data in support of local efforts to grow and sustain behavioral health infrastructure in Jackson & Josephine Counties, Oregon, which have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating regional wildfires.

The Center for Outcomes Research & Education (CORE) has been awarded a $75K grant from the William E. and Thelma F. Housman Foundation to help partners in Jackson & Josephine Counties, Oregon use data to address the area’s ongoing behavioral health workforce shortage and respond to a historically high need for behavioral health services. The funding will support CORE’s work to deliver timely data and analysis sought by local stakeholders as they seek to grow and sustain behavioral health infrastructure amidst the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and regional wildfires.

Residents of rural areas face known disparities in access to appropriate behavioral health services, and like many areas of the U.S., Southwestern Oregon has a long-term shortage of behavioral health providers. The events of the past few years have exacerbated these challenges and elevated the need for a coordinated response that’s informed by relevant and timely data.

“At CORE, we’re dedicated to using research and data to make a positive, lasting impact on health and equity,” explained Lisa Angus, Program Director of Analytics & Strategic Consulting at CORE. “That’s just one of the reasons we’re excited to support our Jackson County partners in their efforts to build a stronger behavioral health workforce that can meet the region’s needs both now and in the future.”

CORE will partner with the Jefferson Regional Health Alliance (JRHA) and a coalition of healthcare, workforce development, education, government, and non-profit groups in the two counties. Together, we’ll identify key areas where additional information is needed to drive improvements in behavioral health infrastructure and identify specific factors contributing to workforce shortages in the region.

This effort occurs in the context of significant new investment in various aspects of behavioral health from federal, state, and philanthropic sources. For example, earlier this year the Oregon Legislature approved roughly $60M in funding to help grow and—importantly—diversify the state’s behavioral health workforce through scholarships, loan forgiveness, and other recruitment and retention inducements. Another aspect of CORE’s work will be to help stakeholders use data to determine how to effectively leverage investments that may be available to the region.

For more information, contact CORE.


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